Howard Board of Education approves design for 13th high school

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

The Howard County Board of Education unanimously approved the design for the county’s brand-new high school in Jessup at its Thursday night meeting.

Projected to accommodate 1,650 students, the Jessup site will be the county’s 13th high school.

The 77-acre site near Mission Road was selected as the future school’s location in March 2018.

The approved design reflects the exact versions at Marriotts Ridge, Reservoir and Long Reach high schools.

Projected to be a 287,005-square-foot building, the high school is expected to have 579 parking spaces and 34 school bus parking spaces, according to the report presented at the meeting.

Features of the school would include an outdoor teaching area, a garden and stormwater management facilities to provide hands-on experiences for science classes.

A public road would be built to connect Route 1 to Mission Road and a walking path will run alongside the new road. An additional walking path will connect the school to adjacent neighborhoods for students who will walk to school.

Pending state approval, construction is set to begin in May 2020, with its completion in April 2023. The school is slated to open in September 2023.

The project is set to have a $130.7 million budget, according to information presented at the board meeting.

In other business, the school system presented its recommendation of installing 20 relocatable classrooms, needing to purchase 17 of them, for the 2019-2020 school year.

Howard uses relocatable classrooms to “provide immediate relief” in overcrowded schools, according to Renée Kamen, the county school system’s manager of school planning.

Three of the 20 relocatables were purchased in the 2018-2019 school year but have not been placed.

An additional 23 existing relocatables and one modular fixture, that houses five classrooms, will be demolished.

After doing school walk-throughs and asking principals what their needs are, a total of 68 relocatables were being requested. At the tune of $8.6 million, the school system is unable to fulfill all the requests due to budget limits. The current budget request is $3.2 million.

The 20 relocatables are being recommended to the following schools: one each at Bryant Woods, Gorman Crossing, Jeffers Hills and Lisbon elementary schools and Clarksville Middle School. Two relocatables are set to be placed a Cradlerock, Guilford and St. John’s elementary schools and Patapsco Middle School. Hollifield Station Elementary will receive three, and four relocatables will be placed at Dunloggin Middle.

Of the 23 relocatables to be demolished, six would be at Glenwood Middle, four at both Dunloggin Middle and Guilford Elementary, two at St. John’s Lane Elementary and one each at Bryant Woods, Clarksville, Jeffers Hill, Laurel Woods, Lisbon and Running Brook elementary schools and Clarksville Middle. The one modular would be demolished from Swansfield Elementary.

The school board did not vote on this recommendation.

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